Stab Magazine | Adriano de Souza wins the 2015 Pipe Masters
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Adriano de Souza wins the 2015 Pipe Masters

Words by Morgan Williamson  “Happy finals day,” Joe Turpel chirps early in the morning as the last day of the 2015 WSL season kicks off at meager Pipe. The beach is packed, the waves are underwhelming and the morning energy’s low, it’s as if everyone’s still shaking off their hangover from yesterday’s drama. Nationalism’s apparent […]

news // Mar 8, 2016
Words by stab
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Words by Morgan Williamson 

“Happy finals day,” Joe Turpel chirps early in the morning as the last day of the 2015 WSL season kicks off at meager Pipe. The beach is packed, the waves are underwhelming and the morning energy’s low, it’s as if everyone’s still shaking off their hangover from yesterday’s drama. Nationalism’s apparent and proud in the Brazilians as it always is. They’re everywhere chanting, cheering, swinging flags and drinking. That’s not to say that they were the only ones having a good time, but there seems to be a Brazilian gathering every four steps. It’s reminiscent of a soccer match and it’s a damn fine day to be speaking Portuguese.

If he was playing blackjack, Mick Fanning would’ve been dealt a 16. He’s got the toughest hand on his road to the title, yesterday with Jamie O’Brien, Slater and John John. Today he found himself facing off against King Kelly once more. Mick’s able to find a 6 point ride as the clock counts down. Into the semi’s.

Josh Kerr and Adriano are the next significant heat, if both Mick and de Souza make the semis Gabs title hopes are thwarted. Kerrzy’s doing all he can to keep the title in Mick’s grasp, and in the wilting minutes of the heat it appears ADS’ title hopes are coming to a halt. The Mick’s the champ’ posts are being tapped into people’s phones, Pipeline’s inactive, there’s nothing on the horizon. Then ADS somehow finds a wave. The Brazilians go steaming mad then wait anxiously for the score to be announced over the loud speakers. He grabs a 3.5, it’s enough, and his fans hit a boiling point. There’s nothing left for Kerrzy and the title race heads into the semifinals.

Walking around the beach is nearly impossible, it’s front row at the headliner of music festival busy, with slightly less pot smoke and dilated pupils. A wall of standing and seated humans stretch from Off the Wall through the Beach Park, and Mick’s got Gabs in the next round. Fanning kicks it off with a double barrel and the moment seems to be his, but everything still needs to fall in line. There’s no easy heats and as it comes down to the wire Gabs finds a ramp and hucks a rotation to the flats, he disappears in the white wash, the previously shouting crowd goes silent. Gabs stands tall and claims the shit out of it, the Brazilians love it. They rush the shoreline as they’ve already done twice today and will do twice more before the day’s through.

Mason Ho and Adriano square up, Mason’s one of the best ever out at Pipe regardless of the conditions. ADS gets a Backdoor tunnel for a 4, Mase answers back with a slightly smaller one for a 3.83. It’s all coming down to this for de Souza to win the titles he’s got to take it one heat further than Mick. Mason can’t find a backup score and de Souza heads to the finals.

It’s Adriano’s day, he’s been hungry and now he’s digesting his first world title and’s the first Brazilian Pipe Master. His country’s flags are flying high, they’re chanting, more so screaming as they count down the seconds in Portuguese and rush their hero. Adriano gets chaired up the beach for the second time today. It’s a big moment for Brazil. The Pipe Master’s was his from the start. He couldn’t be beaten today and thankfully for the final the waves shaped up just a bit. He takes it with a 14.07 over Medina’s 8.50.

“It’s great to be a Pipeline champion like Jamie, Kelly and Bede Durbidge and so many others,” a thankful Adriano tells Rosy Hodge in his post heat interview. “It’s so wonderful to be a world champion. I wish the waves were ten foot pipe, and me and my friend Gabriel were sharing big barrels. But it’s still backdoor and it’s still Pipe. But yeah, I’m the champ. I told Gabriel that without him I’d never be a champ, he showed me how to do it. Thank you so much Gabriel!”

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